Sugar Glider release

Back in March I wrote this post about finding a little native Sugar Glider caught in the barbed wire on the top of one of the fences. I took him to our local wildlife carer and as the weeks went by and I heard nothing, I assumed the little glider hadn’t made it. I didn’t ring; I didn’t really want to know the worst.

Some weeks ago the carer contacted me to say the glider (it had tuned out to be a little female) was doing well and cavorting around the curtains in her living room. She said she’d be releasing her back into my property sometime soon.

I was rapt. Then I didn’t hear anything for a few weeks more, but she finally rang during the week and the release was fixed up for yesterday afternoon. Not only that, but she asked if she could release another two gliders as well. Who could say no?

So, promptly at 5.30, the carer turned up with a young lass who was going to be doing the tree climbing. The gliders were housed in nest boxes which were going to be attached to trees. Another girl turned up and then another carer who had been looking after the three gliders temporarily. My local carer went home; it was ‘feeding time’, she said (she can be looking after 30 or more small marsupials at once!).

For the next 2 hours, I hovered in the background, taking photos and watching these amazing people—all volunteers—at work.

Some time was spent looking for a suitable tree (not so much for the gliders, but suitable for attaching the box and safe to climb). The first box is in that white plastic bag :

Getting the ladder in place :

Getting into harness (the climber ropes herself to the tree trunk) :

Up the ladder :

Not my idea of fun. She’s right at the top of a 3 metre extension ladder. That’s 6 metres up the trunk  :

The box entrance is sealed and opened once it’s up the tree (I was told one of the males is a feisty little fellow who would escape if he could). I asked if I could see them in the box and take a photo before they went up. No problems, just raise the lid. My little female (who had been rescued here and was returning home), had acquired a boyfriend in the form of one of the other males—they were together in the first box to go up.  Not the best photo, I’m afraid and they were both sound asleep on a bed of wood shavings :

The box is hoisted up :

Much of the work involves getting the box fixed to the trunk. There are chains top and bottom, enclosed in hose to protect the tree from the chain :

And finally, it’s in place and the entrance hole is opened :

The process was repeated in another location for the second box, containing the single male. He was the feisty one and didn’t get on with the other male, it seems. Not surprisingly, as the female had not chosen him for her friend.

I didn’t take any photos of the second box going up and even though dusk was falling as the girls finished, I didn’t stay outside to watch the gliders exit and discover their new home. The whole process took 2 hours and it was already well past my dinner time and getting cold. I’ll go out for the next couple of evenings at dusk with the spotlight and see if there’s any activity. It’s possible they will eventually abandon the boxes and find one of the many natural tree hollows around the property more to their liking.

I remain full of admiration for these young volunteers who selflessly give up their time to look after our precious native animals and return them to the wild.



12 Responses to “Sugar Glider release”

  1. Specks Says:

    You just made my day Bev. Such wonderful, caring people.
    Regards, Specks.


  2. notsomethingelse Says:

    Great story, and I agree these are wonderful people doing a great and worthwhile job.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kayepea Says:

    Good job done by all – have you seen them leaving the nest boxes yet Bev? They may not return to the boxes of course – maybe they’ll find their own hollows. Look forward to hearing from you… another post maybe? 🙂


    • foodnstuff Says:

      I’ve just come inside from watching the box with the single male. No sign of him… got too dark to see and the mozzies got the better of me. I’ll try the other box tomorrow. I did see the brushie, though.


  4. narf7 Says:

    What an excellent ending for your rescue Bev. It’s great to see that they really put an effort in to making the gliders feel at home on your property. Looking forward to hearing about their progress in future posts ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Chris Says:

    Awww, happy ending. Love those! Great work all round, and your backyard is a now a sugar glider habitat. Although, it always was. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jane Says:

    It would be hard to get a better story than that, such a good and satisfying ending. Well done to you and all involved.
    I hate barbed wire, I regard it as the devil’s invention it keeps nothing in or out, just catches and rips unfortunate creatures passing through. I have barbed wire round my boundary fences, it was already here when I came, and as well as kangaroos, I’ve has stray sheep (they ate all my broccoli ) cows(they left some manure), and geese. My neighbour hops over the fence when she come to see me, and recently when I had some fencing done I specified no barbed wire. One day I’ll get rid of it all.


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Yes, it was here too, when we came. I’d like to get rid of it all too, but the neighbours have to agree and I haven’t bothered to ask them. Most would be OK, but one is definitely not. This is residential suburbia (although large blocks), not farming, so I can’t imagine why it was put in.


  7. Meg Says:

    What a lovely thing to have the little sugar glider released back into the wild. Such amazing work by such caring people. Meg:)


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